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Marketing 101- Inbound vs Outbound

Marketing is like an onion – there are many layers that make up its composition that we need to peel back (and sometimes it makes us cry). Underneath the superficial layers are two core practices: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Both methods can make a digital marketing strategy succeed, when used correctly. However, often times these practices are misused, mismanaged, and at the end of the day, forgotten. Nowadays, in the argument of inbound versus outbound, inbound has become a fierce front runner, and here’s why:

What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound is a traditional marketing practice that consists of things like trade shows, seminars, telemarketing, cold-calling, email blasts, and advertising. Most advertising done in outbound campaigns are on billboards, in newspapers, or on the radio and/or TV. Essentially, in outbound marketing, the company or business starts the conversation with the consumer.

Here’s the Difference:

Outbound marketing forces a conversation while inbound marketing entertains and carefully creates one. Inbound marketing is about attracting customers and cultivating meaningful relationships with them. These relationships are built on trust and credibility because the customers find you themselves. They didn’t learn about your company from an awkward phone call they were half listening to, they had a problem or interest and sought your company out. It was their idea.

Inbound marketing is about increasing lead generation through web design, search engine optimization, social media, and incredible content. Content is at the core of a successful inbound marketing program. Without relevant content, a marketing campaign cannot exist. Think about it – your website is essentially a treasure chest of content in and of itself. Its where you blog, showcase your services and team, and display your social media platforms – among other things.

The reason outbound has taken such a hit the past few years is because it’s essentially a forced interaction. When was the last time you answered a call from a number you didn’t recognize? What about opened an email from a sender you hadn’t subscribed to? Have you ever called that number on the billboard you pass on the morning commute? When was the last time you even opened up a newspaper? Odds are you send the call to voice mail, delete the email, ignore the billboard, and haven’t picked up a newspaper in years.

This is why outbound is continually letting down businesses. It’s not cheap either! Depending on where you live, billboard advertisements can cost anywhere from $2,000-$20,000 a month. If you spend that kind of money, you better be seeing some incredible results.

But at the end of the day, many people are not seeing the results they once did. Inbound is the present and future of digital marketing. As the industry changes and technology continues to advance, inbound marketing is adapting and helping business reach and exceed their goals.

Making the Leap to Inbound

SEO and live video may seem daunting and near impossible at first, but that’s where we are here to help. After all, it really does take a village. Here are our favorite inbound marketing tools to add to your digital marketing strategy:

  • Video (both live and staged)
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • SEO and keyword research